“William Warfield: A Legacy in Music” will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a performance by scholarship recipient Alicia Rosser at 4 p.m. Jan. 8 in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St., Rochester.
The William Warfield Scholarship Fund has provided financial aid to more than 35 students at the Eastman School of Music since 1977, and has spotlighted talented recipients in an annual benefit concert.
Rosser, 21, of Cheltenham, Maryland, is a senior in the studio of Grammy Award-winning artist and professor of voice Anthony Dean Griffey. The mezzo-soprano previously studied with now-retired professor of voice Robert McIver. She plans to continue vocal and dramatic studies in graduate school after her graduation in May 2017.
Rosser started voice lessons while attending Suitland High School, a public performing arts high school, after performing in elementary school choirs. She participated in summer programs at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the Washington National Opera Institute and the Little Patuxent Opera Institute. Rosser has competed in several vocal competitions, earning first place in competitions held by the Mid-Atlantic National Association Teachers of Singing and the Maryland/District of Columbia NATS.
While at Eastman, Rosser participated in “Si parla, sic canta,” a summer Italian language and music program in Urbania, Italy. She received a Jury Award as a freshman, has consistently appeared on the dean’s list, was a soloist in an Eastman Repertory Singers concert and has worked as a summer resident assistant and a head usher with the school’s concert office.
Rosser’s credits include performances in productions of “Alcina,” “La Finta Giardiniera,” “Our Town,” “La Traviata,” “Candide,” “Little Women,” “Carmen” and “Don Giovanni.”
Baritone Lawrence Craig, who was mentored by Warfield and has appeared internationally in operas, concerts and recitals, will be a guest performer at the concert. The New York-based veteran of jazz, classical, Broadway and modern music performances has appeared in works ranging from “Porgy and Bess” to “Carmen,” “Cosi fan tutte” and “Madama Butterfly” with orchestras including the Louisville Symphony, Symphonic Orchestra of Chile, George Enescu Bucharest Philharmonic, Athens State Orchestra and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He made his Broadway debut in Baz Luhrmann’s “La Boheme On Broadway,” and did an operatic concert tour in Hong Kong, Macau and Beijing.
Warfield’s nephew, Thomas Warfield, will join Rosser and Craig. The singer and pianist is the founder of Peace Art International and director of dance at Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
Other performers will include former Warfield scholarship recipient Jason Alexander Holmes, a bass-baritone who teaches in Brighton and directs the Eastman Young Children’s Chorus; the Garth Fagan Youth Dancers; the Mount Vernon Baptist Church Men’s Choir; the Mount Olivet Baptist Church Youth Choir; the Eastman Community Music School’s New Horizons Baroque Ensemble; and Bill and Teryle Watson, long-time performers and teachers across the Rochester area.
The master of ceremonies will be Eastman alumnus Paul Burgett, who is vice president, senior advisor to the president and university dean at University of Rochester.
Warfield scholarship recipients have included soprano Julia Bullock, winner of the 2014 W. Naumburg Foundation’s International Vocal Competition; soprano Nicole Cabell, winner of the 2005 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition; and bass-baritone Jamal Moore, who was featured with UR a cappella ensemble, The Yellowjackets, on the NBC competition “The Sing-Off” in 2011 and is performing internationally with a cappella group “The Exchange.”
Tickets cost $18 in advance, $20 at the door, and $10 for students with ID. They are available in advance by phone, online and in person at Eastman Theatre Box Office, 433 E. Main St., Rochester.
For more information, call 585-454-2100 or visit bit.ly/2i7Gy1G.